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“Negro” or “Mola”?

Eti, which is among the largest biscuit and chocolate producers in Turkey, is one of the rare companies that has succeeded in making many of its products among the classics since its establishment. Many companies operating in the same sector are trying to move forward by copying or producing similar products of Eti and other industry-leading company Ülker.

Leading actors such as Eti, which is a pioneer in the sector they are in, can also make mistakes in their branding efforts. The brand name “Negro”, which is among the cream biscuits of Eti, is one of the results of these faulty works.

So, where does this fault come from?

The word “black” is used in English for people with black skin color. “Negro”, on the other hand, is a word that gradually disappeared from use in the second half of the 20th century, as it took on a derogatory meaning for black people. We come across the word “negro” in the names of old organizations such as the “United Negro College Fund”, which was founded in 1944 and provided scholarships for black students. Or people born before World War II and in the baby boomer generation still use the word “negro“ widely. It should not be forgotten that words also have a life cycle and their usage areas change over time. It may not be a problem, up to a point, for words to be obsolete because they are outdated. However, if it shifts to a racist, sexist and humiliating meaning, companies should be very careful at that point.

It is clear that Eti is also aware of this situation. Because it offers the same product to the market under the “Negro” brand in Turkey, and “Mola” brand abroad. It should not be forgotten that using different brand names in different markets for the same product brings additional marketing expenses.

I wonder if Eti thinks that if it continues to use this brand name within Turkey, black citizens and guests living in this country will not be humiliated?

It is necessary to have the courage to change the brand name when necessary.

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P.S. We had published this blog post in July 2021. Eti took a strategically correct step by changing the name of its ‘Negro’ biscuits to ‘Nero’ in December of the same year.

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